Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Edelyn Verona, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jill McCracken, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Schlauch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph Vandello, Ph.D.


sex work, psychopathy, alcohol, drug, undergraduate


With increasing education expenses and characterization of our culture as “sexualized”, scholars have begun to explore student engagement in erotic services, but most research has been done outside the United States. This study tested personality correlates, prevalence and type of erotic service involvement in men and women college students in the United States. Specifically, the present study examined gender differences and whether substance use and psychopathic traits exhibit unique and/or interactive associations with both provision and consumption of erotic services among students. A total of 820 undergraduate students (54.3% women) took part in a study on personality and sexual behavior, and completed the Texas Christian University Drug Screen-V (TCUDS-V; Knight, Simpson, & Hiller, 2002), Self-Report Psychopathy Scale-III (SRP-III; Paulhus, Hemphill, & Hare, 2012), and Erotic Activity Questionnaire (EAQ). Men and women endorsed engagement in provision and consumption of erotic services and/or sex exchange, with higher prevalence rates for consumption relative to provision. Substance use and psychopathic traits showed independent relationships to provision and consumption, and whereas impulsive-antisocial psychopathic traits related to provision, both interpersonal-affective and impulsive-antisocial traits related to consumption, but only among those low in the other trait dimension. Lastly, gender showed a main effect for consumption of erotic services (men > women), but relations between psychopathic traits and erotic service involvement were not dependent on gender. Results point to college student involvement in the sex industry to a certain degree, and highlight personality vulnerabilities that may aid in the identification of students who are more apt to become involved in potentially risky behavior within erotic contexts.